Goblins are closely related to demonic entities. Although some Europeans recognize a gentler variety known as a "hobgoblin," goblins seem never to be satisfied with creating mischief. Their specialty is wreaking havoc and malicious acts of harm. Usually portrayed as small, grotesque beings, the basic nature of goblins is as foul as their appearance.
The spunkie is a Scottish goblin that particularly has it in for those travelers who venture out after dark. The spunkie is considered so nasty that tradition claims it to be a direct agent of Satan. It hovers about in the darkness, just waiting for a traveler to become lost in the night, perhaps during a rainstorm when visibility is especially bad. The goblin manifests a light that appears to the desperate wayfarer like illumination shining through a windowpane, thus signaling shelter and a dry place to spend the inclement evening. But as the hopeful traveler approaches the light, it keeps moving just a bit farther away. Since the poor, drenched pilgrim has no choice in the darkness but to keep pursuing the light source, the spunkie keeps moving it just a bit farther on—until the evil goblin has lured the unfortunate traveler over a cliff.